Portrait of a man by Antonius Mor
The picture arrived at the studio from Hospitalfield House in Arbroath (Scotland) with no information about the sitter, artist, or provenance. The original colours were concealed by layers of discoloured varnish and old overpaint which flattened the composition. We created a tailor-made gel solution to remove the old varnish and repaint. Interestingly, we found that there was an even earlier remains of overpaint which in the past had been partly removed. The background was all overpaint which on removal revealed a very nice brushy rich brown surface. The cloak would originally have been a rich blue colour, depicting an expensive velvet fabric, this had been overpainted in the course of the painting’s history partly because the original blue had naturally discoloured to brown but also because the discoloured surface had been abraded during past cleanings leaving large patchy remains of the faded material. After our treatment, the work was seen by an expert who proposed an attribution to Antonius Mor.